Florida has limited restrictions when it comes to motorcycle laws, especially regarding helmet laws that apply to riders and passengers. As a result, many motorcyclists choose not to wear helmets when riding, which may lead to serious injuries in the event of a collision. The Miami motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon assist people injured in a motorcycle crash with taking proper legal action against responsible parties.
Often, motorcyclists suffer especially severe, life-threatening injuries in accidents involving other vehicles due to the lack of protection that a motorcycle provides. As a result, these victims need considerable financial assistance to cope with their recovery efforts. Our firm offers dedicated and experienced legal guidance to clients throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as elsewhere in South Florida. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our office today to set up a free consultation to find out more about our services and how we can help.Florida Helmet Laws
In Florida, if a motorcyclist obtains an insurance policy that contains at least $10,000 in medical coverage, and they are 21 years old or older, they are not required to wear a helmet. Florida is one of two states, along with Michigan, that has enacted a limited helmet law based on insurance coverage. As one of the laxest states in this regard, following only Illinois and Iowa, which do not require helmets for any riders, Florida is also unfortunately a leader in terms of motorcycle-related fatalities nationwide. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has reported that 9,384 motorcycle accidents resulting in injuries or death occurred in 2012. Additionally, one in every five deaths related to a highway accident involves a motorcyclist, whereas bikers only make up seven percent of all motorists on the road.
By not requiring bikers to wear helmets, there is also a stronger likelihood that victims will sustain traumatic brain injuries in the event of a crash. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that fatalities tripled for motorcyclists under the age of 21 following the repeal of Florida’s helmet law in 2000. During that same time period, there was a 40 percent increase in hospitalizations due to crash injuries, and the cost of treating head injuries also doubled. Given the financial impact that a motorcyclist faces following a crash, retaining an attorney may be necessary in order to receive compensation from the parties responsible for their injuries.Who Can Be Held Liable for Injuries to Riders Not Wearing Helmets?
Often, motorcycle collisions are a result of a driver’s negligence. Negligence exists when one party breaches the duty owed to another person to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under similar circumstances. For instance, if a driver fails to check oncoming traffic when changing lanes, and therefore they strike a motorcyclist, they could be found to have acted unreasonably. Although it is legal for most bikers to ride without a helmet, it may also be found to be an unreasonable action and a contributing factor to a motorcyclist’s injuries. However, partial negligence on the part of a victim does not preclude them from getting damages in a personal injury case. Under Florida’s pure comparative fault scheme of awarding compensation, each party’s degree of fault is taken into account. For instance, if a motorcyclist is found 30 percent liable for causing their own injuries, another negligent party can still be responsible for 70 percent of the damages incurred.Contact a Knowledgeable Motorcycle Crash Lawyer in Miami or Beyond
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in any type of motorcycle accident, even one involving a single rider who was not wearing a helmet, there may be legal options available. The Miami attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can assist you in determining your next legal steps. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal rights and options. We represent people throughout the areas surrounding Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.